While browsing around fitness forums, I often come across posts, often written by beginning body builders, asking for tips on how to become more muscular, more vascular, more powerful.
I have a few questions about my nutrition. I’m 18 and I like working out, but I want to put on more muscle mass. I don’t, however, want to put on fat but I don’t know how to do this. I like simplicity, and counting calories isn’t something I particularly enjoy. I went on a cut and lost some fat, but now I want more volume (without getting fat)
My nutrition is good, I avoid bad foods and I eat mostly proteins (meat, eggs, fish, etc) I also eat carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats) and fats (almonds, oil, etc) Even though I pay attention to what I eat, I’m still not as lean and shredded as I want to be. I want to have the physique of those athletes we all admire…
So what do I do in order to put on lean muscle mass and get stronger? Sometimes I feel like I over-complicate things. Does anyone have admive for me?
First of all, putting on lean muscle mass is one of the most difficult things to do. As many know, putting on muscle without a caloric surplus (eating more than your maintenance) is only possible via anabolic steroids or via a lack of musclar stimulation.
Despite what you may read online, nothing has shown that it’s possible to lower body fat and encourage muscle development at the same time.
The best advice I have is simple: first lower your body fat to a decent level (between 10% and 12%), then try and stay under 15%. Above this range, things often get out of hand, and fat accumulation will happen a lot quicker than you imagined. The body has this tendency to get fatter… once you start getting fat 🙂
Most people underestimate their body fat %. Seeing two top abs often puts you closer to 20% than 10%. Know how to be objective about your shape, and ask yourself whether you eat too much or whether your workouts are adequate or not.
In other words, don’t just try to make your abs visible…get your abs through a healthy diet and working out!
Also, know that staying lean all year is something very difficult to do without favorable genetics (or without pharmaceutical help). On the other hand, staying fit all year (between 10% and 12%) is something everyone can accomplish. This range should give you a high potential for muscular growth and development. Plus, lowering to say 8% , although more difficult, will then “only” require controlling your diet a bit more and making sure your workouts are appropriate.
To answer to the typical person wanting to look lean and shredded; if you aren’t so, it could be that biologically you aren’t as vascular as you wish, or that you are not lean enough to have the desired vascularity.
No matter what, however, workout to better yourself, not to be more pleasant to look at.
By doing this, you will get your desired physique. When I started paying closer attention to my diet and workouts, rather than to the number on the scale or my reflection, I became stronger and buffer than ever before. The first step to take is to lower your body fat %, then to focus on your workouts- the step that will stimulate muscle growth. Give each workout your all; include at least two “big” sessions a week, that have you exhausted by the end of them 😀
If you want to gain volume, eat accordingly, rest accordingly and train accordingly.
All of this is simpler than people make it out to be, but it’s something that requires patience, and a lot of it. So, be patient and become a beast.